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Daniel Kickert: Back-to-back threes

He won’t even hit the court, but the best-three pointer shooter in the history of the NBL racks up back-to-back threes today, as he turns 33. Born on May 29, 1983, Daniel Michael Kickert grew up in Melbourne’s east and went to Aquinas College before attending the Australian Institute of Sport. The power forward was recruited to St. Mary’s College of California, where he excelled as a scorer for the Gaels. In his first season he played all 30 games as a freshman and was the only player to feature in every game. In his four years of college, he was named to the All-WCC First Team twice in a row, and left the school as the highest ever scorer in Gaels history, with a total of 1, 874 points. It has only since been surpassed once, by fellow Aussie Matthew Dellavedova (1,933). After graduation, Kickert represented the AustraliaN Boomers at the 2006 World Championships, and began his successful eight-year career in Europe – with stints in Livorno, Lugo, the Canary Islands and Poland. His overseas adventure ended in Ukraine, where he was forced to leave due to the military upheaval. Europe’s loss was Australia’s gain, as “Kicks” signed his first NBL contract with Melbourne United franchise in 2014, to make his debut at the age of 31 years old. The 208cm forward mirrored the style of his head coach Chris Anstey, who also had a successful European career as a tall three-point shooter, however his first season was disappointing. While Kickert averaged a respectable 13.8 points and 4.4 rebounds, the newly-branded franchise finished the season with a 13-15 record and missed out on the Finals. Not to be discouraged, Kickert found his NBL form to go on to be the League’s most accurate three-point shooter. His efficiency helped secure the minor premiership for Melbourne United, as they finished the 2015/16 season at the top of the ladder. He nearly became the first man to join the “50-40-90 club” in the NBL – shooting 50 per cent from the field, over 40 per cent from beyond the arc and over 90 per cent from the foul line. Kickert actually achieved the required splits with averages of 52.5/47.2/90.5 but fell just four free-throws short of the minimum requirements. However, he still made an NBL record – as the best three-point shooter in history – and was named to the All-NBL First Team in recognition of his fantastic form. The returning Brisbane Bullets were sure to secure the in-demand free agent early, and made Kickert one of their very first signings to build their roster upon. Expect the relaunched franchise to look to the 33-year old to help them shoot their way back into the NBL this season.
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